Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: How a thing happens

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  • Sacha, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    State regulation always protects the status quo and hinders reform.

    Like how Cunliffe regulated Telecom, you mean?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

  • linger, in reply to Robyn Gallagher,

    I can’t work out what significance being a ranked blog has

    that WO is the biggest ranker? or just the most rancorous?

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1944 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Given Whalespunks general level of integrity, how do we know he hasn't got a whole collection of robot scripts hammering his site and driving up the published rankings?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • David MacGregor,

    The advertiser's withdrawal from the Radio Live schedule was probably a significant PR opportunity for them to be seen to be doing 'the right thing'. In fact the media value from the reporting of their withdrawal was probably more significant than the air-time they cancelled (as you say their corporate voice was only being heard by a marginal share of the audience anyway). Cynically - a shrewd move.
    The message they implicitly send by their action is far more important - that they are participants in a society that is increasingly transparent - touting the latest baked bean special at Countdown is transitory - but making the point that they are an engaged participant in the community they serve is lasting.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since Feb 2007 • 41 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to David MacGregor,

    In fact the media value from the reporting of their withdrawal was probably more significant than the air-time they cancelled

    That's true. I doubt we'll see advertisers actively and pre-emptively withholding their ads from his pending return... to MediaWorks, unless there's guaranteed good publicity for doing so. To be fair, we'd probably not hear of some businesses' decisions to do so if that were the case.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    they're also the people who pay tens of millions of dollars for the use of spectrum

    Yeah, but if the government leased one of the mainstream TV channels to a pr0n broadcaster, they'd make loads more dollars, possibly.

    I guess FM broadcasting as it exists now has only a couple more decades to go. I'm wondering when car radios will go all-internet - it's technically possible to listen to the radio over 3G, in countries without our level of price gouging it's economical so it can only be a matter of time.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    I don’t want to be in a table with Whaleoil, Kiwiblog, The Standard and The Daily Blog.


    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • nzlemming, in reply to Danyl Mclauchlan,

    Just to add to Gio’s point: running a quick script on my own blog stats, whenever DPF and WhaleOil both link to one of my posts, DPF routinely sends over 15x as much traffic as Slater.

    On other threads, we have generally agreed that Slater’s word is not to be trusted on the blog posts he writes. Why should we extend trust to his statistics?

    As someone who used to manage websites, do SEO and fudge up analytics reports for money, it is ridiculously easy to game statistics. And even easier to straght out lie.

    [edit] What Rich said.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2937 posts Report

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I understand company loyalty, and I understand natural defensiveness - I've done both in my time. But Radio Live really need a period of reflection, because it's not just about one bad interview. The slow, painful reaction to it - the station not "getting it" - is what damns them.

    Given that it was, I think three sets of people doing screwed up interviews, there's something systemic wrong at the station. A bit of education would be a good start.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report

  • John Elijah,

    Yes, very interesting thanks.

    Hawkes Bay • Since Oct 2013 • 5 posts Report

  • Kyle MacDonald,

    I wholeheartedly agree about Radio Live's lack of responsiveness, but it's also true there were lots of people within the station uncomfortable about what had happened too. When I was asked to come on Marcus's show on Friday morning and talk about my recent blog, about the need for men to stand up etc. I was more or less instructed to be free to talk about "Willie and JT" (as I had mentioned them in my blog.) If there's a problem, it's managerial IMHO.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report

  • Kyle MacDonald, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    It's a sunny afternoon. Therefore, there's only one kind of ranking that matters: Uptown Top Ranking.

    Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Kyle MacDonald,

    Yes, quite. I know people at Radio Live were unhappy and yes, the problem was with management and leadership, including in the wider company.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report

  • Pete Wobh, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The whole web metrics thing is indeed unsatisfactory. But Whaleoil is monitored by Nielsen as well. Any trickery – as suggested by your readers – would require Whaleoil to fool an awful lot of people at once. That really doesn’t pass the BS test.

    But I agree with you: what does it MEAN? is 10,000 pageviews on one site of the same quality and meaning as 10,000 on another site?

    I wish I could tell you.

    All I can say is that the Whaleoil strategy to increase its audience “as measured by 4 separate tools” is currently 1-2 times larger than it was 12 months ago. And the pages served out to those people is 4-5 times more than we dished out a year ago.

    At the risk of taking the fun out of the conspiracy theories, I’m quite happy to let you access our stats directly at any time. To quote you – they are what they are.

    As to what they mean…

    I’m not going there.

    Another interesting stat is the number of readers participating in on-line polls. When you look at a well frequented Herald or Stuff poll, the responses are in the 4000-6000 range.

    At Whaleoil this is in the 600-800 range.

    Again, what does it mean?

    It’s just a data point, but it does give us a ballpark feeling as to growth over time, and in a very rough sense, size of audience.

    It tells me that if we want to grow Whaleoil to the point where it is equivalent to Stuff or the Herald in terms on on-line audience, we need to grow it 5 to 8 times more over the next few years.

    To me, those don’t seem to be impossible targets.

    All this is completely aside from the issues of hating Cameron Slater, everything he stands for, and would like him to die a painful lonely death. As you say, it is what it is. Whaleoil has its audience. And it’s seriously looking at growing it to compete directly with the brick and mortar media organisations – online.

    NZ • Since Nov 2013 • 2 posts Report

  • bmk, in reply to ,

    What would be the advantage of using G3 instead of FM?

    Not limited to a specific spectrum and better quality spring to mind. Also cost of broadcast - not having to pay for access to the FM spectrum would remove a barrier to entry.

    I'm not a radio geek so I'm sure there are others.

    Since Jun 2010 • 327 posts Report

  • izogi, in reply to ,

    What would be the advantage of using G3 instead of FM?

    I guess in an age where there are probably reasons to have internet in cars anyway for any number of other reasons (both useful and ominous), it (a) means it's unnecessary to install a separate reception device-instead you could have a radio station or other audio running off your phone or other portable device and plug it straight into the vehicle when you show up.. or just have it embedded in the vehicle, and (b) makes it possible for people to receive radio stations from pretty much anywhere in the world if they don't like the local broadcast options, at least as long as they have internet. You can already find radio streams from all over the world pretty easily through services like this one. Smart people probably know better places to look than I do.

    I'm not yet sold on the ~90 second delay when I stream Radio NZ, but it's getting there.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1142 posts Report

  • Stephen Judd, in reply to Pete Wobh,

    My inference is that you do have a somewhat smaller audience, but an engaged one. They like to refresh a lot. Maybe they’re not too hot on following links out to places they don’t usually go.

    As far as your aspirations for growth go, on the one hand, as far as I know Stuff and the Herald are both growing still themselves. On the other, any plans they have for paywalls are going to change the picture radically (not least for people who quote and link to their free access content a lot).

    The problem the brick and mortar organisations are going to run into is that keeping a decent complement of journalists on to generate the news is too expensive relative to the revenue they get from online ads. How are you planning to equal their appeal without having their costs?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report

  • Pete Wobh, in reply to Stephen Judd,

    It is indeed the Paywal changes that will provide us with a one-time unique opportunity. We just have to remember that none of this is an either/or. Everyone still has their place, but audiences will shift. By introducing Paywalls, there will be a shift in dynamics that presents blogs with specific audiences and talents, such as this one, with a chance to capture some of that eyeball time. In a world where attention equals influence, every distinct minute of brain activity that's focused on our material as opposed to the 1000s of alternative available (including sleep!) is of high value. Pageviews is just a one dimensional metric - but there are financial rewards to serving more ads. That doesn't drive itself. It still needs real people coming back every day, several times a day, and several pages per visit. It ain't rocket science, but if it was easy, everyone would be able to achieve it. Any site can achieve what Whaleoil has done, but they have to put the work in. As Russ said - simply being "back" to tend this blog has nearly doubled its activity. Genuine effort can equal genuine results. Just because some Ford drivers can't stand Holden, and some Holden drivers can't bear the thought of Fords, the truth is that most Ford and Holden drivers could be persuaded to drive the other brand, given the right incentives. And some would even own both without thinking it was some sort of ideological betrayal :)

    NZ • Since Nov 2013 • 2 posts Report

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It’s also home to Graeme Hill and Wallace Chapman, who do great work. I think it’s worth persisting with, but the last thing they need is more of the same on weekdays.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What would be the advantage of using [3G] instead of FM?

    For the broadcaster:
    - not having to pay for spectrum
    - reaching an audience not limited by geography (and being able to tailor ads to the individual, though this doesn't happen much if at all yet)

    For the listener:
    - Not being limited to stations within range - e.g. once outside a city, losing all but Hick FM

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to izogi,

    Thank you so much for the link to Rodney's Aviation Ramblings. A certain person here has become an instant follower.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3229 posts Report

  • BenWilson, in reply to izogi,

    I've been streaming radio using TuneIn in the car over 3G since a got a smartphone about 3 years ago. It has the advantage of there being tens of thousands of channels to listen to. Also, I can listen to BaseFM outside of 5km from Ponsonby. But when you're driving around there certainly are quality of service issues - dropout mostly, which can make it tedious, and for the local content the FM receiver works for most channels. I can time-shift with TuneIn, also, but actually when I comes to radio I generally CBF.

    Outside of the city the dropouts are worse - 3G coverage is much less sure in the coutryside.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But they're also the people who pay tens of millions of dollars for the use of spectrum. Their view is that that buys them the right to choose how they act.

    When the FM spectrum was deregulated and sold off years ago, it sold for well below market valuation, to the point where the commercial radio market is glutted and vapidised - NZ has more FM stations per listener than Sydney.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5446 posts Report

  • Sacha, in reply to BenWilson,

    Also, I can listen to BaseFM outside of 5km from Ponsonby


    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report

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